In a move that created a stir in AIADMK ranks, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on Monday, dropped Transport Minister V. Senthil Balaji from the Cabinet and relived him from an important party post.
A release from Raj Bhavan said the recommendation of Ms. Jayalalithaa to remove Mr. Balaji from the Ministry was accepted by Governor K. Rosaiah. Industries Minister P. Thangamani will hold the Transport portfolio, the release said.
A party release said that Mr. Balaji was being relieved as Karur district secretary. This post too would be held by Mr. Thangamani, who currently holds the post in Namakkal.
One of the younger faces in the AIADMK, Mr. Balaji’s political career took off when he joined the AIADMK in 2000. Over the years, he climbed the party ranks swiftly, becoming a Minister after the party stormed back to power in 2011.
Party sources said the leadership had acted on several complaints against him that had emerged from Karur as well as from the Transport Department, though no official reason has been ascribed for the action.
Mr. Balaji hit the headlines recently for the unique prayers he conducted for the acquittal of Ms. Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.
The removal of Mr. Balaji comes months after another leader, Agri S.S. Krishnamoorthy, was removed from the Council of Ministers headed by O. Pannerselvam in May on charges of corruption.